Safari extensions allow you to customize and enhance your browsing experience. Extensions can help you make the most of your favorite sites, browse securely with password managers, change the appearance of webpages, and bookmark or manage tabs.
Extensions can also help make working with social media services, like Facebook, easier. You can also increase productivity with extensions and manage your time better using extensions that allow you to save webpages for reading later.
Today we’ll look at where to find Safari extensions, how to install them, how to update them, and how to disable or uninstall any you no longer need.
A Word of Caution About Extensions
Safari is a fast and lightweight browser, but the more extensions you install the slower it will be. If you install a lot of extensions, the performance of your system will suffer.
So it’s not safari that’s slow, it’s all the browser extensions, huh
— Ben Lamb (@bennyfactor) August 22, 2013
You should consider how useful an extension will be before installing it. If you do install a lot of extensions, disable ones you’re not currently using (check out the Disabling or Uninstalling Safari Extensions section below).
Finding and Installing Safari Extensions
There are a few ways to find Safari extensions, and we’ve got our own list of personal favorites. The Safari Extensions Gallery and the Mac App Store are the official locations hosted by Apple. All extensions in the Gallery and the App Store are reviewed and signed.
Extensions in the Mac App Store update automatically when the Install app updates option is on.
You can also install extensions from developers outside the Gallery or App Store. However, you should only download extensions from websites you know and trust, or that other people you trust have recommended.
— CryptoAUSTRALIA (@CryptoAustralia) August 24, 2017
Installing Extensions From the Safari Extensions Gallery
The Safari Extensions Gallery allows you to browse extensions and install them with a single click.
To access the Safari Extensions Gallery, go to Safari > Safari Extensions.
The Safari Extensions page displays on a new tab. For additional extensions, click the Go to the Mac App Store link.
The App Store opens to the Safari Extensions page. Install extensions here just like you would install apps.
On the Safari Extensions page, the Popular extensions display by default. If you’re looking for a particular type of extension, click Categories and then click the category you want.
To install an extension, click Install now.
The extension is installed and a button added to the toolbar, an option added to a menu, or a special menu added, depending on the extension.
Installing Extensions From Third-Party Sources
If you can’t find an extension you want in the Gallery or App Store, you can download the extension directly from a developer’s website.
For example, we downloaded the Tab Options extension.
When you download an extension outside the Gallery and the App Store, you’ll get a .safariextz file. Double-click the file to install the extension.
Extensions downloaded from outside the Gallery or the App Store are not signed or hosted by Apple. Safari will ask if you’re sure you trust the source and you want to install the extension. Click Trust to continue, assuming you do trust the developer and source.
It isn’t signed or hosted by Apple, so Safari asks you if you still want to install the extension.
The Extensions screen in the System Preferences displays and the extension is added to the list.
Updating Safari Extensions
You can update extensions installed from the Gallery or the App Store automatically. Extensions installed outside the Gallery or the App Store can only be updated manually.
To update extensions, go to Safari > Preferences.
If you don’t want to update any extensions automatically, uncheck the Automatically update extensions from the Safari Extensions Gallery box on the Extensions screen.
You can also turn off automatic updates for extensions installed from the Mac App Store.
When there are updates available for extensions installed from .safariextz files, or for extensions from the Gallery if you turned off automatic updates, an Updates button appears at the bottom of the list of extensions. Click Updates to see the available updates.
Click the Update button for each extension you want to update.
Disabling or Uninstalling Safari Extensions
Safari extensions you don’t use anymore can be disabled or uninstalled. If you’re experiencing problems in Safari, you may want to disable all your extensions and then re-enable them one by one. This can help you determine if an extension is causing the problem, and which one. If you decide you don’t want an extension at all anymore, you can uninstall it.
Note: Closing all open tabs in Safari is recommended before disabling or uninstalling extensions. If you have a lot of tabs open, Safari’s performance worsens noticeably when you disable or uninstall an extension. Each open tab has to adjust to no longer having that extension active, especially when that tab was using the extension.
— M? Bee (@pak_lebah) August 24, 2017
To disable or uninstall an extension go to Safari > Preferences, then click Extensions on the toolbar.
Uncheck an extension in the list on the left to disable it. To uninstall an extension, select it in the list, then click Uninstall on the right.
The More Extensions button on the Extensions screen opens the Safari Extensions Gallery on a new tab.
Go Try Some Useful Extensions
Now that you can efficiently manage your Safari extensions, go find some useful extensions and try them out.
Which extensions do you use? Do you have any recommendations for useful Safari extensions? Do you install extensions from outside the Safari Extensions Gallery? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.